Until international phosphorus objectives are agreed to by governments, the IJC watershed board has adopted an interim approach of reporting on exceedances compared to the most stringent water quality criteria used by local state, provincial, or federal agencies for these shared waters.

The IJC watershed board's Aquatic Ecosystem Health Committee co-chaired by LOWWSF's Todd Sellers, is leading the IJC International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board’s current compilation of its annual water quality exceedances report. The report draws on monitoring data provided by federal, state and provincial, and Indigenous agencies and will focus on phosphorus and related algae levels on Lake of the Woods and Rainy River, the principal water quality issues of international concern. Phosphorus is the primary nutrient feeding algae blooms and phosphorus loadings to the lake and its main tributary, the Rainy River, has been the focus of intensive studies by Minnesota and Canada.

The report will also present a summary of exceedances or spills (if any) of the permitted wastewater facilities discharging into the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods.

The report should be completed and submitted to the IJC in late fall – we’ll let you know when it is available and have a summary of findings on the Foundation website.